LE NAIN brothers
(b. 1598/1610, Laon, d. Louis and Antoine: 1648, Mathieu: 1677, Paris)

Four Figures at a Table

Oil on canvas, 51 x 61 cm
Private collection

Four Figures at a Table is among the most celebrated of the Le Nain brothers' compositions. It is known in many copies, the version in the National Gallery, London is considered to be an original.

The present canvas is only the second version to be attributed definitively to the brothers. It is by a different brother than the one who executed the London version. It is largely the work of Mathieu, who often revised his brothers' pieces.

The painting, an interior scene, features four peasants: a young boy, a small girl, a young woman and an older woman. But this variation contains elements that appear in no other known version of the composition, including the picture in the National Gallery. In all other versions, the interior is entirely bare-bones, but here there are elements of pots and crockery.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.